click below for:
For some, like John Stamstad, the race lasted 25 hours. John fought hard through the night to catch Rishi Grewal and his title. Then today, as noon approached, John made another turn through the pit still looking for Rishi. Rishi used his sprinting power early to give significant space between himself and the other soloists.
This is where the power of being on the cross country pro circuit pays off. Dawes Wilson rode consistent all night to pull in third. Another soloist that remained untouchable was last years winner Amy-Regan Axelson. Sydney Myer lost her last night in the dark with Connie Corson following in third. Oh yeah, Sydney Myer is 50 years old, completed 10 long laps and was the only person still light on their feet, smiling on the podium today.
I confess I openly doubted Rishi's perseverance. I thought his forte was just over two hour sprints, not 24 hours of pain. My bad.
The teams were fun to watch. Always having a smile and seemingly wanting to talk to you on the course. The ages ranged from squirrely young lads to spunky veteran Bettys. The Lunar Lords were on a manly mission. Once they gained their lead on Saturday, they continued increasing it up until the end busting out some 22 laps altogether. Motley Abdul and the Flamin' Subarus blasted on by the Moab 24 Hour Champs who settled for the name third place Moab 24 Hour Champs today for the pro mens catagory. The ladies pros had to deal with Juicy Fruit Butts who lost a teammate, but rode on a team of three, had two dual punctures, but fixed them by moonlight and survived the night victorious. They too held a pro tour card of Gretchen Reeves to get them through the night. Buff Badasses beat up Winonas Riders for second place.
Other memorable moments were watching the youthful Jerry Curls hammering away, women's masters Alices in Wonderland and soloists like Andrew Hamilton who would get fed and dressed by supporters in the pit and then tossed back on the bike like a piece of luggage, chewing and pedaling expressionless and delerious.
The fun factor always held this race in check. Even when the dust started blowing and the course softened to a bottomless sand trap, smiles and assistance were always close by.
The personal stories of triumph are too many to tell. Inspiration and camaraderie abound here in the mountain bike mecca, . Now it's time to sleep for many and drink lots of 3.2 beer for the rest.
Check below for earlier race updates.
All bets are off. Rishi Grewal has kept it up. He maintains a 50 minute lead over John Stamstad and more than an hour over third place Dawes Wilson for the solo men. Sydney Meyer has a hold on the women's solo division with a full lap (over an hour) over Amy Regan-Axleson in second and Connie Corson in third.
The Lunar Lords of Vail are still looking strong with a 12 minute lead over Motley Abdul and The Flamin' Subarus. Moab 24 hour Champs are still easily in the game 24 minutes behind the leaders in third. The all women's race is lead by team Juicy Fruit Butts.
The night has brought on anxiety in the pit where racers wait anxiously for they're teammates to stumble in. The darkness has slowed each lap to a crawl for most and added general confusion to this dust bowl.
Tammy Jacques said "Rishi had taken a 25 minute break and was looking good", but the night was still young. Then I spotted Mark Fawcett come through the exchange. The name doesn't ring a bell? How about the fastest man on a snowboard who would have taken the Gold in Nagano Japan were it not for a mechanical. Mark is the man!
I can't justify scaring these delirious wide eyed peddlers anymore with my flash. Sunrise will bring warmth and hope of a light at the end of the tunnel for many. Stay tuned for Mr. Sunshine to go from a blessed energizer to a dry, life draining, ever watching eye.
he race has begun under the dry Utah sun. The first section has been replaced with the entry road because it's too deep for too long. People would be pushing through deep sand for over a mile. Traffic will be kept to one lane during the race by volunteers.
Rishi Grewald attacked early and still maintained a big lead after the first three laps for the solo mens catagory. Lunar Lords has a small lead over Motley Abdul and The Flamin' Subarus for the mens pro. The Buff Baddasses are leading for the ladies pro division with Juicy Fruit Butts on their tail.
The pictures are in and we'll be bringing you new updates and pictures all night. So keep hitting reload and stay tuned to see who will survive the night in the desert, on a bike.
Friday Confessions of an Idiot:
The luxury of traveling for The Mountain Zone has allowed me to log some sweet frequent flier miles, and my fair share of road miles as well. For me this means tickets. It's just part of the game — a Always in a hurry to catch a race, an interview, a plane.
I got a ticket in Maine last year and the cop told me that 20 miles an hour over the speed limit was a criminal offense. I smiled knowing I would be in Seattle before the weekend was out. In New York I got two tickets on my way to the airport. These tales of reckless speeding came to find me when I couldn't renew my license this summer. Knowing I didn't have time for such mundane politics, I proceeded to do what I do best. Drive like an idiot. Sure car rental companies would notice my expired license and deny me a car. I just simply strut to the next counter and use distraction techniques and smile knowing that they would take my money and I couldn't be stopped. Utah however had me a bit nervous, but I just let things flow and baffled the young man behind the counter with rapid fire questions as he typed in my license information. Upgrading was of course one of them. Somehow I walked out of there with a new, red, Mustang convertible (air conditioner, CD, electric everything, O-yeaaaahhhh!). OK I couldn't walk, I ran giggling to myself.
Now I find myself "cruisin'" down these rocky "off road vehicles only roads" top down, kicking up red sandstone everywhere with "my mind on money and my money on my mind."
So next time you see a rental car with a Mountain Zone sticker on it. Get the hell out of my way cause I'm on a science fiction, digital broadcasting mission.
Of course I brake for bikers. Thanks for your support.
If the names are any indication, the teams should provide some added spectacle to the race. Last year we had Cow--Peddlers, Spoders, Slackers, -Soaked Chamois and the world famous Team Hugh Jazz who not only rode a single speed, brakeless bike in drag, but shared the one pair of bike shorts between them. Now that's teamwork.
Start hitting your reload button on Saturday afternoon for the live course side updates. It all comes down 12 miles south of in an area called "Behind The Rocks." The course is 11-12 miles of rolling desert terrain with Jeep roads, sandy sections and approximately 700 feet of climbing per lap. Things explode with a Le Mans start at noon Saturday, October 10 under the Moab sun and runs painfully until 12 noon Sunday October 11th. Let the pain begin.